New Tennis Complex Will Serve Augustana, Community
Thursday, January 22, 2009
SIOUX FALLS – Augustana President Rob Oliver and Athletic Director Bill Gross today announced plans to build a new tennis complex on campus that will serve the College and the community.
The Huether Tennis Centre will be built on the site of the College’s current tennis facility located east of Grange Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets. Mike and Cindy Huether of Sioux Falls have provided the lead gift toward the project that will cost approximately $300,000.
“Augustana has proven to be the partner we were looking for,” Mike Huether said. “The leadership at Augie is visionary, progressive, and understands just how important it will be to ensure that the public gets as much enjoyment out of this new facility as does Augustana. The site is also a perfect location, so the utilization will be maximized at a time when tennis is peaking but playing venues in Sioux Falls are more limited than everyone would like.”
The Huether Tennis Centre will be spread over 37,400 square feet compared to the current site’s 33,600 square feet. The surface will be widened by 16-feet on the east side. A new entrance and tennis shack will be built on the south side of the facility. A new fence and retaining wall will also be built around the new playing surface.
The championship-level courts, with approved spacing between them, will be painted US Open Blue with a green backdrop. Augustana will use the new facility for practice, competition, classes, and recreation. Community use of the tennis courts will also be encouraged.
“This project is a continuation of the commitment Augustana has made to NCAA Division II athletics to strive for excellence in all sports,” Gross said. “A more than $16 million expansion of athletic facilities at Augustana began in 2006 with the Hall Football Complex and Sanford Gym. Since then the College has added the Hall Baseball/Softball Complex, Kirkeby-Over Stadium, the Larson Track Complex, a soccer field, and now the Huether Tennis Centre.”
Current plans call for work on the new tennis courts to begin this spring. The designer is Midwest Tennis & Track of Denison, Iowa. It is the same company that installed the playing surface at Kirkeby-Over Stadium.
“This new facility will not only enhance our athletic program, it will improve the overall appearance of the campus,” President Oliver said. “We are very grateful to the Huether family for their generous support of the College and the community.”
Tennis became a part of Mike and Cindy Huether’s activities while following the play of their daughter, Kylie. While watching their daughter play was exciting and rewarding, Mike and Cindy decided playing would be even more fun.
Today, Kylie is a sophomore and team captain for the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University Blazers in St. Joseph, Minn. Cindy is the past president of the Sioux Falls Tennis Association and coaches Sioux Falls Washington High School’s girls tennis team.
Both Mike and Cindy are from Yankton, S.D. They are very active in many community and statewide public service endeavors. They have helped lead such efforts as both the Sioux Falls Opt Out Campaigns to raise money for public schools. In addition, they support The Banquet, Washington High School Booster Club, The Governor’s Task Force on Education Funding, The Governor’s Task Force on Health Insurance, and many other activities that are designed to strengthen the community/state.
“This partnership is a wonderful example of private and public entities working together for the benefit of all,” Mike said. “Tennis enthusiasts throughout the campus and the city will recapture the spirit of this proud and historic venue. We can’t wait for the new memories to begin.”
Augustana’s current six-court tennis complex was built in the middle to late 1960s. Before that the courts were located near where Stavig and Granskou residence halls now stand.
Tennis was added to Augustana’s athletic program in the 1930s. Between 1947 and 1985 the men’s team won six North Central Conference championships and in 1953 claimed the conference doubles crown. Women’s tennis became part of the NCC program in 1981 and Augustana claimed the league title the following year.